Shiva as Mahesha. Culture: India (Tamil Nadu). Dimensions: H. 58 in. (147.3 cm); W. 32 in. (81.3 cm); D. 16 in. (40.6 cm). Date: 10th century. This statue is part of a group of unusual large stone carvings in the round from the Chola period. They all portray the same deity, long identified as Brahma but now thought to be Mahesha, a form of Shiva. Shiva's worshipers believe that he manifests himself in three stages, which move from the abstract to the concrete--symbolized by the undecorated linga (shaft); the linga with one or more faces emerging from it; and, finally, Mahesha. From him are bo

- Image ID: PB5TPX
Shiva as Mahesha. Culture: India (Tamil Nadu). Dimensions: H. 58 in. (147.3 cm); W. 32 in. (81.3 cm); D. 16 in. (40.6 cm). Date: 10th century. This statue is part of a group of unusual large stone carvings in the round from the Chola period. They all portray the same deity, long identified as Brahma but now thought to be Mahesha, a form of Shiva. Shiva's worshipers believe that he manifests himself in three stages, which move from the abstract to the concrete--symbolized by the undecorated linga (shaft); the linga with one or more faces emerging from it; and, finally, Mahesha. From him are bo
Album / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: PB5TPX
Shiva as Mahesha. Culture: India (Tamil Nadu). Dimensions: H. 58 in. (147.3 cm); W. 32 in. (81.3 cm); D. 16 in. (40.6 cm). Date: 10th century. This statue is part of a group of unusual large stone carvings in the round from the Chola period. They all portray the same deity, long identified as Brahma but now thought to be Mahesha, a form of Shiva. Shiva's worshipers believe that he manifests himself in three stages, which move from the abstract to the concrete--symbolized by the undecorated linga (shaft); the linga with one or more faces emerging from it; and, finally, Mahesha. From him are born the other two great Hindu gods, Brahma and Vishnu. Mahesha is shown here with four faces: on the right is Brahma; in the center, Shiva; on the left, Vishnu; and on the back, Rudra (possibly the predecessor of Shiva). The attributes associated with Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu are on their respective sides. Museum: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.